On September 14, the FCC adopted a report and order to streamline its procedures for administrative hearings. The Commission's report and order does three main things:
(1) codify and expand the use of a process that relies on written testimony and documentary evidence in lieu of live testimony and cross-examination; (2) authorize Commission staff to act as a case manager to supervise development of the written hearing record when the Commission designates itself as the presiding officer at a hearing; and (3) dispense with the preparation of an initial opinion whenever the record of a proceeding can be certified to the Commission for final decision.
The report and order is intended to "expedite and simplify the Commission’s hearing processes" consistent with the Communications Act and Administrative Procedure Act "while safeguarding the rights of parties to a full and fair hearing. The report and order is based on a proposal that was the subject of a short blog from September 2019.